One day as I sat before the Lord, a thought came to my mind that I recognized that it did not originate with me. The Spirit of God bid me put a “fleece” before the Lord. Now this is something I almost never do because the Word of God also says that we are not to tempt the Lord. But feeling that this thought was from God, I spoke it in prayer: “Father, if you would allow me to bring one person in my extended family to salvation, I will take that as a promise that all of my family will be saved.”
A few days later, I was thinking about my aunt Fern. Her daughter had died recently, and I was imagining what a heartache this must be to her. As I pondered this, I felt encouraged to go visit her and just be a listening ear, hoping maybe to comfort her in some way.
So I called her and we decided I’d go over to her house on Thursday.
Days passed and Thursday finally arrived. I got into my car and headed over to her house. When I arrived I saw a vehicle in the driveway. I wondered if perhaps she had forgotten that I was coming over; she was getting older and the elderly oftentimes are forgetful. I didn’t want to intrude at a time when she had company. I considered going home, but I felt a nudge to go knock on her door. She came to the door with a huge smile and I went in.
We went and sat in her livingroom and I urged her to share her heart about her daughter, which she did. It seemed like a typical visit to one who is sad, and I wasn’t expecting anything more than that.
But suddenly …the Lord opened the way for me and HE took over. I don’t even remember all I said to her, only that she was in tears and indicated she wanted what I have, the Lord, so I asked her if that was the case and she said yes. I spoke to her awhile about the salvation message. Too often, one bringing someone to the Lord will couch the whole conversation in all the promises God makes. “Oh,” they’ll say, “he’ll heal you, he’ll set you free, he’ll be very much involved in your life, he’ll make your life a success.”
While those things are true, it’s only half of the story. The man and woman who brought me to the Lord years prior, said these very things to me. But …they did not tell me the whole story. The whole story is that when Jesus Christ takes over one’s life, he becomes the owner, the Lord, of that person and he embarks on a mighty work of transforming that person. But in that context will be a lot of pain. God uses our pain to bring about things in us that couldn’t have come about any other way, and that will many times be very, very painful.
I did not present my aunt a false picture of salvation. I told her that if she truly wants to be born again, she must allow Jesus Christ to be her Lord. She will have to be very careful to part with anything of an occult nature. I said that because there was a lot of occult involvement in the lives of my parents and grandparents, and again in their parents before them, and that brought a curse onto our family that immersed many of us in misery. I didn’t know if my aunt had ever been involved in the occult, but I made it very, very clear that occult involvement is an abomination to God, and we must stay far away from it.
My aunt agreed, and I led her to the Lord, having her pray after me, which she did, in tears.
When I returned home, I was savoring the glory of a new salvation – it’s beyond exciting when God grants us the privilege of leading someone to him. In fact, it says the angels in heaven cheer when someone comes into the Kingdom of God. And as I sat there and reviewed all that had happened, suddenly a thought came to my mind: “Do you remember the fleece you prayed about a few days ago?”
To say I was stunned would be a huge understatement! I sat that with my jaw dropped, realizing that the Lord created this story to assure me that all of my family will be saved.
Then another thought came to mind: the reason there was a car in her driveway? It was a man who had come to their house to help her husband with a newly-installed overhead chandelier in their dining room. That man was there for another reason: God had gone before me and arranged that I would be alone with my aunt. Had that man not been there, her husband would have been sitting with us, and the conversation that the Lord brought about would never have happened.
When I have a new story in the Lord, I like to go back and look at every single detail to appreciate every step the Lord had to take to make this story work. This is the providence of God, and in this case it resulted in my aunt’s salvation, and furthermore …assured me of the salvation of all of my family.